Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Karan Thapar

Karan Thapar

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Karan Thapar'
Start a new discussion about 'Karan Thapar'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Karan Thapar is one of India's noted television commentators and interviewers. He is the youngest child of General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 P. N. Thapar
Pran Nath Thapar
General Pran Nath Thapar was the fifth Chief of Army Staff of the Indian army.-Personal life:...

 and Mrs. Bimla Thapar.

Education


An alumnus of The Doon School and the Stowe School
Stowe School
Stowe School is an independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. It was founded on 11 May 1923 by J. F. Roxburgh, initially with 99 male pupils. It is a member of the Rugby Group and Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school is also a member of the G20 Schools Group...

, he graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Philosophy from Pembroke College, Cambridge
Pembroke College, Cambridge
Pembroke College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college has over seven hundred students and fellows, and is the third oldest college of the university. Physically, it is one of the university's larger colleges, with buildings from almost every century since its...

 in 1977. In the same year, he was also President of the Cambridge Union. He subsequently obtained a doctorate in International Relations from St. Antony's College, Oxford.

Career


He began his career in journalism with The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

in Lagos
Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 and later worked as their Leader Writer on the Indian subcontinent till 1981. In 1982 he joined London Weekend Television where he worked for the next 11 years. He then moved to India where he worked with The Hindustan Times Television Group, Home TV and United Television before setting up his own production house in August 2001, Infotainment Television
Infotainment Television
Infotainment Television Pvt Ltd. or ITV is a production company based in New Delhi, India. It produces programmes for BBC, Channel News Asia, Doordarshan, CNBC and SABe TV. It was started in August 2001 by Karan Thapar, President of ITV. Karan Thapar is a very aggressive interviewer....

, which makes programmes for amongst others BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, Doordarshan
DoorDarshan
Doordarshan is an Indian public service broadcaster, a division of Prasar Bharati. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in India in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial Transmitters. On September 15, 2009,...

 and Channel News Asia.

Currently the President of Infotainment Television
Infotainment Television
Infotainment Television Pvt Ltd. or ITV is a production company based in New Delhi, India. It produces programmes for BBC, Channel News Asia, Doordarshan, CNBC and SABe TV. It was started in August 2001 by Karan Thapar, President of ITV. Karan Thapar is a very aggressive interviewer....

, Thapar is noted for his aggressive interviews with leading politicians and celebrities- his interviews with cricketer Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj , better known as Kapil Dev, is a former Indian cricketer. He captained the Indian cricket team which won the 1983 Cricket World Cup...

, George Fernandes
George Fernandes
George Mathew Fernandes is an Indian trade unionist, politician, journalist, agriculturist, and member of Rajya Sabha from Bihar. He is a key member of the Janata Dal , and was the founder of the Samata Party...

, J. Jayalalithaa
J. Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa Jayaram ; born 24 February 1948) commonly referred to as J. Jayalalitha, is the Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. She is the incumbent general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam , a Dravidian party. She is called Amma and Puratchi Thalaivi by her...

, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

, General Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

, Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

, Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley is a prominent Indian politician and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party , which is currently the largest Opposition party in India...

, Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani, : राम जेठ्मलानी,: رام جيٺملاڻي born 14 September 1923, in Shikharpur in Sindh, British India) is an Indian lawyer and politician. He has served in various posts such as Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Associations...

, U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 and The Dalai Lama are particularly well remembered.

A few of his shows which have been much watched are Eyewitness, Tonight at 10, In Focus with Karan, Line of Fire and War of Words. The shows with which he has been making headlines lately are, Devil's Advocate and The Last Word on CNN-IBN and India Tonight on CNBC TV 18.

Awards and accolades


In December 2003, he became the first person to win both awards in the current affairs category of the Asian Television Awards
Asian Television Awards
The Asian Television Awards is an appreciation to recognize and reward programming and production excellence in the Asian television industry. Held every December, the Awards draws about 1,400 entries each year from a wide range of broadcasters, including free-to-air TV stations and pay-TV...

. His interview with Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Khurshid Kasuri
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri
Mian Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri is a Pakistani politician and diplomat. He was the Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 2002 to 2007.- Family background :Khurshid M. Kasuri belongs to one of the old political families of Pakistan...

, on Court Martial won 'The Best Current Affairs Program'. He received his second award for 'The Best Current Affairs Presenter' for his popular long-running BBC series Face to Face. In 2005 he won the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' for the third time since 1999 for his interview with the former Indian Law Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party ,; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party in terms of representation in the parliament...

 (BJP) General Secretary Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley is a prominent Indian politician and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party , which is currently the largest Opposition party in India...

 on Hardtalk India. He won the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' award yet again in 2007, this time for his much talked about interview with Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani, : राम जेठ्मलानी,: رام جيٺملاڻي born 14 September 1923, in Shikharpur in Sindh, British India) is an Indian lawyer and politician. He has served in various posts such as Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Associations...

 on Devil's Advocate. In 2008 Devil's Advocate was conferred 'Best News/Current Affairs Show' by News Television Awards & Karan Thapar was presented the award for 'News Interviewer of the Year' by Indian News Broadcasting Awards. In April 2009 he was honored with the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and was chosen the 'Journalist of the Year (Broadcast)'. In August 2009 he was adjudged the "News Show Host of the Year" by Indian News Broadcasting Awards. In March 2010 Devil's Advocate was accorded an award for being the "Best News Talk Show" by News Television Awards. In December 2010 he was adjudged the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' by Asian Television Awards
Asian Television Awards
The Asian Television Awards is an appreciation to recognize and reward programming and production excellence in the Asian television industry. Held every December, the Awards draws about 1,400 entries each year from a wide range of broadcasters, including free-to-air TV stations and pay-TV...

.
He won this award for an interview with Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani, : राम जेठ्मलानी,: رام جيٺملاڻي born 14 September 1923, in Shikharpur in Sindh, British India) is an Indian lawyer and politician. He has served in various posts such as Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Associations...

 on Devil's Advocate which had terminated abruptly as Jethmalani had walked out in anger midway when questioned about allegations of opportunism surrounding his return to a political party.
In March 2011 Devil's Advocate was adjudged the "Best Current Affairs Programme" and Karan Thapar was declared the "TV News Anchor of the Year-English" by National Television Awards.

Controversies

  • R. Prasanan criticized Thapar's interview with Gohar Ayub Khan
    Gohar Ayub Khan
    Gohar Ayub Khan is a Pakistani politician and a son of the late Pakistani dictator, President General Ayub Khan. A Tareen/Tarin Afghan/Pathan, he was born in village Rehana, Haripur, Hazara region. Khan studied at Army Burn Hall College, Abbottabad, and Saint Mary's Academy, Rawalpindi,...

     for its hidden motives.
  • Narendra Modi
    Narendra Modi
    Narendra Damodardas Modi is the current Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat.He was born in a middle class family in Vadnagar; and is a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood, as also an active politician since early in life. He holds a masters degree in political...

     and Ram Jethmalani
    Ram Jethmalani
    Ram Jethmalani, : राम जेठ्मलानी,: رام جيٺملاڻي born 14 September 1923, in Shikharpur in Sindh, British India) is an Indian lawyer and politician. He has served in various posts such as Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Associations...

     have famously walked out of the show complaining about Thapar's style of interviewing them.
  • In a year-end role-reversal interview of Karan Thapar, Arun Jaitley
    Arun Jaitley
    Arun Jaitley is a prominent Indian politician and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party , which is currently the largest Opposition party in India...

     accused Thapar of being soft on his interviewees from Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     like Asif Ali Zardari
    Asif Ali Zardari
    Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party . He is also the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister....

     when compared to Indian politicians.
  • In a similar role-reversal interview with Karan Johar
    Karan Johar
    Karan Johar is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter and Television host. He is the son of Hiroo Johar and Yash Johar. He is one of the most successful filmmakers in Bollywood. He is most known for directing and producing some of Bollywood's highest grossing films in India and the...

    , Thapar acknowledged a continuing tiff with the Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan
    Amitabh Bachchan
    Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Hindi cinema, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades...

     arising from an interview in which Thapar posed certain personal questions to the actor.
  • In a separate interview with Mani Shankar Aiyar
    Mani Shankar Aiyar
    Mani Shankar Aiyar is a former Indian diplomat who resigned from foreign service and became a politician working for Rajiv Gandhi in 1989-1991. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party and was the Minister of Panchayati Raj until he lost his seat in the 2009 Election...

    , Thapar named his interview with A. R. Rahman
    A. R. Rahman
    Allah Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, record producer, musician, and philanthropist. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and...

     as the most unsatisfactory one till date.

Books

  • Face To Face India - Conversations With Karan Thapar, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-303344-1
  • Sunday Sentiments, Wisdom Tree, ISBN 81-8328-023-4
  • More Salt Than Pepper - Dropping Anchor With Karan Thapar, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-81-7223-776-9

External links